The Bengals selected Kyle Pitts with the No. 5 pick in our second mock draft of the season.
The Florida product dominated the SEC at just 20-years-old and doesn't turn 21 until October.
He had 43 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns in just eight games for Florida in 2020. He averaged 17.9 yards-per-reception.
Despite playing at a high level and Pitts' draft stock on the rise, Bengals analysts Dave Lapham, Dan Hoard and Geoff Hobson don't think the team would consider a tight end with the fifth overall pick.
"At number five I think that's a little bit rich to consider the tight end position," Lapham said on the latest Bengals Booth Podcast. "Taking a tight end at the fifth spot, I don't know, to me that's just a little bit too rich. This kid's really good. There's no doubt about it, but I'm not sure I'd pull the trigger with the other needs the Bengals have."
Hobson quickly followed up with his opinion.
"I don't think they would take him even if they traded back," he said.
On the surface it is crazy to take a tight end with the fifth pick. However, Pitts might be that special. There are scouts that believe he's the best tight end prospect in decades. Some of those same people have Pitts ahead of LSU star Ja'Marr Chase and the rest of the skill players in this draft.
"I don't see it happening with the fifth pick in the draft," Hoard said. "Maybe if you trade back and you're somewhere in the 12 to 15 range and he's somehow still there, maybe you would consider it, but he's more of a receiving tight end then a George Kittle, Rob Gronkowski type, that's a great blocker at the line of scrimmage. If you're at number five and you're going to take a receiver, take a receiver. Not the best receiving tight end. I love Kyle Pitts. I'd love to have him, but I'm not taking him fifth overall."
If Oregon tackle Penei Sewell and Chase are off the board when the Bengals are on the clock, it's hard to imagine there being a better prospect on the board than Pitts.
Alabama's wide receiver duo of DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle will also get consideration at No. 5, but Pitts could ultimately be higher on the Bengals' board.
Cincinnati seriously considered taking tight end O.J. Howard with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Former head coach Marvin Lewis loved the Alabama product.
Pitts was much more productive and is lightyears ahead of where Howard was as a prospect. He might not be a great blocker, but he's already an elite pass catching tight end.
Pitts has drawn comparisons to Raiders tight end Darren Waller.
Joe Burrow loves throwing to his tight ends. In a perfect world the Bengals would be able to trade down and still take the Florida product, but that might not be possible.
The 2021 NFL Draft starts on April 29th, which gives us plenty of time to discuss the Bengals' options at No. 5.
Listen to Hoard's entire conversation with Hobson and Lapham below.
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